When it comes travelling in 2017, more travellers are trading in excess for minimalism — and it’s driving globetrotters to be more sustainable in their travel choices.
In fact, travel website Booking.com predicts that the number of travellers staying in eco-friendly and green accommodations could double this year, as 65 per cent of trekkers say they plan to do so.
According to the website’s annual Sustainable Travel Report, travellers today are willing to give up certain aspects of their travel all in the name of reducing their ecological footprint.
For travellers, this means conserving water by reusing towels and bed sheets and trying to help protect the environment by reducing the use of amenities (such as shampoo and soap, for example).
Today’s travellers have a range of reasons for wanting to change the way they travel, the report states. They are:
- To help reduce environmental impact (52 per cent)
- To have a more locally-relevant experience (36 per cent)
- Because these destinations treat the local community better (31 per cent)
- Eco-friendly destinations tend to provide more locally-sourced and/or organic food (30 per cent)
- An interest in experiencing new trends in travel accommodations (24 per cent)
“Just as where we stay on holiday plays a pivotal role in the enjoyment of our trip, so it also plays an increasingly important role in helping people to travel sustainably,” Pepijn Rijvers, chief marketing officer at Booking.com, says in a statement. “Whether by serving locally grown food, using or selling local crafts, conserving water and energy, recycling or connecting guests with the local community, accommodations today are working on a range of sustainability efforts and it’s heartening to see travellers so keen to explore and embrace these.”
If you’re feeling inspired to travel, Global News has put together a list of eco-friendly and green resorts and destinations within Canada in celebration of Earth Day.
Location: Whitehorse, Yukon
Description: While your days are filled with hiking, nature encounters and paddling through the breathtaking landscapes of the north, your nights will be spent underneath the northern lights. The resort believes in travelling “in a respectful way” and keeping one’s eco-footprint as small as possible. Visitors can stay in wooden cabins and visit the area any time of year.
Nipika Mountain Resort
Location: Kootenay National Park, B.C.
Description: There is no shortage of things to do while surrounded by the picturesque Rocky Mountains. Singles, couples and groups planning to stay a few days can reserve a self-contained log cabin surrounded by endless trails. The resort operates all year long and has activities like mountain biking, birding tours, canoeing, alpine day hikes and more. The destination has also been gold certified by Trip Advisor as a green leader.
Powell River Sea Kayak Desolation Sound Marine Park
Location: Powell River, B.C.
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Description: There are two locations for this resort — one on Okeover Inlet, and the second in the village of Lund, both of which are situated on the water. While there are day tours and multi-day camping tours, the Cabana Desolation Eco Resort is where you’ll want to be if you want that true nature getaway. It’s an uninhabited 240-acre island surrounded by warm Pacific waters, marine wildlife and mountain ranges and can only be reached by kayak or boat. Water activities are number one here with snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding. The resort also provides locally grown and harvested foods, and uses renewable energy and environmentally sensitive waste water systems.
Eco-Lodge in Algonquin Park
Location: Moffat Pond, Algonquin Park, Ontario
Description: Located on the southern tip of Algonquin Park, this eco-friendly resort sits on 60 km of land and has one of the largest single trail systems in Southern Ontario. It’s open all year round for wilderness lovers, offering activities like horseback riding and canoeing during the summer, and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter (and more). The resort is not connected to local hydro grid and instead relies on propane lanterns for lighting, firewood for heat and the fridge and hot water heater is also run on propane. They also use a micro-hydro generator powered by a nearby waterfall.
Elk Lake Eco Centre
Location: Elk Lake, Ontario
Description: The resort is a not-for-profit organization that sits on 3,600 km of land. It offers programs about natural wonders, environmental sustainability, as well as an array of outdoor wilderness activities throughout the seasons, like canoeing and Nordic skiing, among others. There’s also an outdoor hot tub and infrared sauna on site.
Le Baluchon Eco Resort
Location: Saint-Paulin, Quebec
Description: Surrounded by lush forest just a half-hour southwest of Shawinigan, Le Baluchon is open year-round and offers activities for both summer and winter adventurers, as well as a spa. The resort has its own recycling centre, has invested in a waste-water management system that protects the nearby Rivière du Loup, and is committed to energy conservation and reforestation. It also doesn’t allow motorized activities on the site and even goes as far as giving its cooking oil to a regional company to be processed into biodiesel.
Trout Point Lodge
Location: East Kemptville, Nova Scotia
Description: Trout Point Lodge is resort located in the Acadian Forest, an area filled with rivers, lakes, bogs, glacial formations and marshes. There’s catch-and-release fishing for brook trout, a list of outdoor activities and visitors can even try out a cooking class. If you’re not relaxed by then, then try decompressing in one of their riverside cedar barrel saunas or wood-fired riverside hot tub, or maybe just get a massage. The destination has been recognized by Frommer’s and Condé Nast and has received the Hotel Association of Canada’s 5 Green Key Rating.